DENVER — Officials with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) gave an update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic and vaccination efforts on Thursday.
> Video above: From scholarships to cash, there are lots incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 Incident Commander Scott Bookman reported that case rates continue to decline among all age groups and hospitalizations are also down.
He said the decline in both areas is proof that vaccines are working.
"It is offering protection, and it is particularly offering protection to those who are most vulnerable and those who have been hospitalized over the course of the pandemic," Bookman said.
Bookman said that the 429 confirmed patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is about 250 less than the peak of the current wave, and well below the largest peak of 1,847 patients hospitalized during the winter.
Immunization Branch Chief Heather Roth addressed concerns from people who have had trouble confirming the state has their vaccination information for the five $1 million drawings, saying that 99% of those who have contacted them did have their name in the system.
However, the primary reason someone is not in the state's system is if a person received their vaccine in a different state, Roth said.
Records can be checked through Colorado Immunization Information System's public portal.
Kids in Colorado who are not old enough to gamble have a chance at winning a $50,000 scholarship if they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gov. Jared Polis (D- Colo.) announced the latest vaccination incentive on Wednesday. Colorado kids ages 12 to 17, who have at least one dose of the vaccine, will be eligible for one of twenty-five $50,000 scholarships.
Five winners will be announced each week for five weeks starting on June 11.
This Friday, the state will announce the winner of the first $1 million prize for a Colorado adult who has at least one vaccination dose.
After Polis announced that sweepstakes on May 25, vaccination rates in the state stayed rather steady.
"What I think would have happened without this giveaway is a greater, rapid drop off in interest. I don't think anybody was expecting a spike," said Polis.
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